Ag tour of Nature’s Nation

Please register and join us on Thursday, Dec 6 for a special agriculture-oriented tour of “Nature’s Nation: American Art and the Environment,” at PU’s Art Museum. The tour, offered at start times of 5 p.m. or 5:30 p.m., will look closely at the role of agriculture depicted in the exhibit and will facilitate conversations about agriculture, the environment, and art. Click through here to register for time slot you prefer: . Guests are welcome to explore the exhibit before and after the tour as well. This event, organized by Tessa Desmond, research scholar in American Studies, and Adrian Hyde, executive director of Northeast Organic Farming Association-NJ, is part of the international Being Human Festival; sponsors are the Humanities Council, the Program in American Studies, Princeton Studies Food and NOFA-NJ. Visit for more information on the festival; the PU Humanities Council is hosting local festival events: For information about the Nature’s Nation exhibit, visit:

Plants-rich meals guide published

Alice Wistar ’20, of Greening Dining and Princeton Studies Food

Building your appetite for a plants-rich diet that optimally powers your body while reducing harm to the planet? Craving fried plantains? Avocado toast and chia seed pudding for breakfast?Wondering what you might find if you venture off-campus and get hungry?Now you have a comprehensive plants-based guide for campus and community eateries that ranks current options, thanks to Alice Wistar ’20, of Greening Dining and PSF and her team! Here’s the PDF.

Peter Singer: Thoughts on Food Day

“If we want to continue to have food, and we want to continue to have a world with a climate that is inhabitable, then we need to think about the food we’re eating. We can’t just go on eating more and more meat and animal products because this is simply not sustainable. It uses up too much of the world’s resources and it’s responsible for putting out too much of the world’s greenhouse gases. If we want to have a long-term sustainable future, we can’t keep growing that. We have to bring that to a stable and eventually, a reducing component of animal products, because it’s the plant-based foods that provide more of what we need for fewer greenhouse gas emissions.”
— with thanks to Smitha Haneef of Campus Dining

Save the date: Friday, Feb 22

Planning for our fifth annual Princeton Studies Food conference — this one in celebration of Princeton Environmental Institute’s new Food+Environment program of study — is under way. Please do mark your calendars and plan to devote most of Friday, Feb. 22 to solutions-oriented discussions and Q&A on water as prerequisite to the food chain. We also are planning additional events: a screening, in partnership with the Garden Theatre, of Leviathan, a documentary shot in the North Atlantic and focusing on the commercial fishing industry, with Professor D. Graham Burnett, author of Trying Leviathan: The Nineteenth-Century New York Court Case That Put the Whale on Trial and Challenged the Order of Nature, offering introduction and discussion afterward; and a campus visit of James C. Scott, professor of political science and founding director of the Agrarian Studies program at Yale.

More to come as it develops.

Demo food prep and samples in classes

Campus Dining Services, which now supplies all aspects of all food at all residential dining halls, nine cafes and Frist Campus Center, has rolled out a service, Princeton Culinary Lab, to bring its own chefs into classes. The current project is part of the Food and Agriculture Initiative, a project of Smitha Haneef, who directs food services, and Professor Dan Rubenstein, EEB, along with Prof David Wilcove, EEB & WWS and Shana Weber, Sustainability. The service builds on decades-long  work of her predecessor, Stu Orefice, who introduced forward-thinking sustainability and local procurement efforts, as well as chefs-to-classes, chefs-to-students efforts and community connections. It also borrows aspects of PSF’s  Science, Society & Dinner course with Master Chef Craig Shelton, a James Beard award winner and graduate of Yale in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry. The new service was demonstrated in Prof Rubenstein’s ENV 303, Agriculture, Human Diets and the Environment, in Spring 2018; in NES 390: Medieval Cairo, a Survival Guide; and in Col(LAB) 1.0 with Prof Anne Cheng, American Studies, an experimental, three-day, mini-module to prototype exploration of the entangled issues of health, class, culture, innovation, and ecology. Campus Dining Services says there will be 14 such rollouts in the future. Spring and subsequent iterations follow an earlier effort of Haneef with Prof Cheng for her course, Literature, Food, and the American Racial Diet, in spring 2015. In that course, teams of students created dishes that illustrated some aspect of how food interacts with racial identity. Teams were paired with PU chefs who advised them on food ingredients, preparation and presentation. More info here:

Happy birthday to latest addition to PSF family

Congratulations to PSF’s own Professor Dan Rubenstein, and to Smitha Haneef of Dining Services, on the one-year anniversary of their Food and Agriculture Initiative. It builds on and leverages a dozen years of PU work examining the science of the plate, celebrating the community of the table, and studying relevant complex systems. The initiative intends to explore “global food and agriculture as a subject of critical inquiry and applied knowledge.” Others involved include Professor David Wilcove of EEB and Public Affairs, and Shana Weber, Sustainability director. See more here:

Join us for Reunions 2018!

Please celebrate our fourth anniversary at our one-hour panel and Q&A that looks at food systems study and projects under way and planned. As always, thanks to Gordon Douglas MD ’55 and Sheila Mahoney S’55, funders. Our panel is 11 a.m., Friday, June 1, McCosh 46, and is open to the public. (this post updated to reflect new panelist Christine Du Bois to replace Serena Stein, who leaves to continue research in Mozambique a few days before our panel).


Christine M. Du Bois ’84, is an anthropologist and a former research director, with the late Sidney Mintz, of the Johns Hopkins Project on Soybeans. She is a co-author and editor of The World of Soy (2008), a multidisciplinary exploration of soy as food across continents and centuries. Her just-released The Story of Soy follows the soybean from its ancient domestication all the way to its genetic modification in the present, including its uses as food, animal feed and biodiesel.

Tim Treuer, EEB grad student, who is following up on an almost-forgotten experiment of Daniel Janzen ’76 and Winnie Hallwachs ’76 that now showcases the power of discarded orange peels to regenerate a forest and to sequester carbon.



Rozalie Czesana ’18, our first graduate and first student member of Princeton Studies Food, who, in addition to work on wasted food and other Greening Dining projects, and directing students to best options for meals in dining halls, helped to create and shepherd the Science, Society & Dinner course with Karla Cook, co-founder of PSF, and Professor Kelly Caylor, now at UC-Santa Barbara.


INTRODUCTION: Gordon Douglas MD ’55, Princeton Studies Food co-founder, is Professor Emeritus of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and is director of three biotech companies: Vical, Inc. Novadigm, and Protein Sciences. He was president of the Merck Vaccine Division from 1989 until 1999. Previously, he was an infectious disease specialist with research interests in respiratory viral infections, vaccines, and antivirals at Weill Cornell Medical College and the University of Rochester School of Medicine.

MODERATOR: Professor Dan Rubenstein, who studies mutualism and whose new course, Agriculture, Human Diets and the Environment, includes the life cycle analysis of a 2050 menu and is partnering with Campus Dining Services to serve samples of relevant dishes to registered students.